GRIFFITH PARK—On August 8 and 9, the Los Angeles Zoo is holding a special celebration commemorating World Elephant Day.

World Elephant Day is an international event that takes place on August 12. The event launched in 2012, and was started to “to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants,” according to the World Elephant Day website. The organization advocates for the conservation of elephant habitats, legal protections for the animals, and improving the treatment of elephants in captivity.

From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., the zoo will have educational activities for all ages at their Elephants of Asia habitat, which currently houses three elephants. Zookepers will be demonstrating the elephants’ “daily enrichment activities,” and there will be a large 3-D chalk art piece for families to take photos with. There will be tours of the 16,000 square-foot elephant barn, which is modeled after a Thai structure, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For kids, there will be a craft station where children can design cards to be added to a “colorful large-scale display” at the zoo’s Thai Pavilion. Storytellers will be reading from “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” a book based on a traditional Indian fable. Kids can even bring a toy elephant to the event for a “check-up” and receive a certificate of health.

Kids can bring their stuffed elephants for a "checkup" during World Elephant Day activities.
Kids can bring their toy elephants for a “check-up” during World Elephant Day activities. Photo via @LAzoo on Twitter.

The organization, 96 Elephants, which is seeking to end elephant poaching, will have information available about the struggles elephants go through in the wild. The organization is named after the statistic that 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa for their ivory. There will also be information about California Assembly Bill 96, a bill that aims to enforce the ban on the sale of ivory. Selling ivory has been illegal in California for nearly 40 years, but according to 96 Elephants, the state is still the second biggest hub for ivory sales in the US.

Admission to the LA Zoo is $20 for adults, $15 for children aged 2-12, and $17 for seniors age 62 and older. There is no extra charge for World Elephant Day events.